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Hack Tuke, Daniel – Sickness - Inducing nausea - I have drunk and seen the spider



Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,



SECTION II.— Of various Mental States comprised under the Intellect. Definition and Elucidation.

The various ways in which vomiting may be excited, will serve to illustrate the influence of ideas presented in different forms. See how the causes differ.

  • First, a man may vomit from taking an emetic, from a bad smell, or from visceral disease. With this class of cases we have nothing to do; the mind has not influenced the body.
  • Secondly, he may vomit from receiving unpleasant intelligence.
  • Thirdly, by seeing or hearing another person retch; from Sympathy, as we say.
  • Lastly, this effect may be induced by the belief that an emetic has been taken ; from Imagination, in the ordinary sense of the term current among men.

 In the second instance, the proximate cause is emotional in character, and does not fall under the present division. In the two succeeding examples, the observations already made as to simple ideas, and ideas, around which cluster other mental principles, as Expectation and Belief, so as to form a complex state popularly known as Fancy or Imagination, receive as good an exemplification as we could desire. Belief in an event about to happen was absent in the third, and present in the fourth illustration. How much the effect of even disagreeable things depends upon our knowing that they are so, is shown in every-day experience ; and the cause is referred by general consent to the Imagination.

" There may be in the cup
A spider steep'd, and one may drink ; depart,
And yet partake no venom ; for his knowledge
Is not infected; but if one present
The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts : — I have drunk and seen the spider !"

The source of the experience

Hack Tuke, Daniel

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image


Observation contributed by: Henry Ibberson